Friday, January 22, 2010

house warming

Ok, I am getting ahead of myself - don't even have a house yet, but I am thinking about the house warming! But how can I help it when Fabulous Stationary has such delicious invites! They are original, modern, classy and the quality is tip-top! No ho-hum!

The retailer is based in Philadelphia and everything can be done over the net. I have personally dealt with them for the calling cards which my husband and I used as Save the Dates for our wedding in 2009 (as below, of course our text was different). We even stuck a little magnet on the back so people could display it on their fridge!

They confirm all the details over email and when you are happy, you promptly receive the package in the post. I received our calling cards in a cute little box with an enviro-bag, which I thought was a great touch.

Some other calling card designs (size of a business card)...

Now - for the invite and announcement cards!

Why do you need this stationary? Well, if the puddle of your drool on the floor isn't reason enough, think about all the people you need to advise of your change of address. A calling card may be more appropriate; or your house warming - let your invites express you!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

martha martha martha

Officer, put an ankle bracelet on me and put me under house arrest at Martha Stewart's place - because she is my idol!

My dream would be to work for her - playing with crafts all day, taking pretty pictures and updating the Martha Stewart website. I love her! So...she is going to be on this blog...A LOT!

I have been thinking about outdoor living a lot lately so I thought I would check out what Martha has to offer. She has some fabulous pictures of how to light and decorate entertaining areas in cheap and creative ways.

Love the tiki lamps. They are cheap, look so preddy and are easily stored. On a side point, I love the path in this picture. It is windy enough to appear to blend in with the natural surroundings and it has large stone pavers interspersed between grass. Maybe a way to save money on pavers? Don't pave the whole thing, just a few here and there. It outlines where the path is really well, but doesn't cost a fortune? Also, have a thought about the grass. Even if you are paving, grass is going to grow between the cracks and then you have to physically pull it out yourself. If you leave the path fairly natural, as above, you can just run the lawn mower over it!

You don't need expensive outdoor lighting for your entertainment area. Hang jam jars with tealight candles underneath tabletop umbrellas to save on table space (also keeps them out of the hands of the tiny tots!) The mood would be much improved from that of the glare of a floodlight or starkness of a lightbulb.

Turn a camp cot into an elegent daybed. That would be a lot cheaper than buying some of the day beds out there! Use an old cot frame, sand it back and give it a lick of paint.

If you need a new mattress, you can buy foam by the metre at places in Australia such as Clark Rubber, cover it in a fabric of your choice and whola! I do admit the cushions in complementing fabrics do look fabulous!

Coming into a new home in a new housing area, chances are the only shade you have, is the shade you have created yourself. New home builders rarely have enough money to include a covered verandah or pagola, to enjoy your backyard, so don't wait for the trees to grow - just string a canopy up yourself!

There are ready made styles available in building stores or you can create one yourself with a piece of fabric and some string!

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the hardest ideas to come up with!

Creative and functional is the motto!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

i heart...have you met miss jones

Major love!

The cutest bone china pieces you will ever see among other fabulous pieces that would suit many different decorating schemes. So so cute!

The best thing is this retailer is based in Alexandria, Sydney, so all the prices are in Aussie dollars and so so affordable!

Lets just let the pieces speak for themselves...

These button dishes are what first attracted me to this retailer, but there is SO much more!!

Such ordinary objects made into such beautiful delicate pieces!

The pieces would look so beautiful sitting on a bench or a shelf in a minimalist style home. Their simplicity and stark white hue would look stunning against any colour scheme.

I can imagine the milk bottle, can or paper bag holding flowers or herbs in the kitchen on a window ledge or bench, or even sitting together for a kitsch look. You could drop a tealight candle inside of them so they glow at night.

The night lights are so cute. I can imagine the lamp with the bird sitting on it, set on the side table of a little girl's bed, or on a table in a candle lit entertainment area.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

go organic

Pictures courtesy of

Its so refreshing to see different ideas - people stepping outside the box.

The Nanyang Technological University Singapore has a green grass roof that connects smoothly with the landscape. The line between landscape and building is blurred. The building sits organically in its space and above all remains functional! The roof can now be used a gathering space, the grass acts to cool the building by insulating it and cooling the surrounding air and water is harvested from it for irrigation. Natural light is let into the conplex.

The complex is set against a heavily wooded area, so the architects wanted to create a building that blended in with its surroundings.

I am not suggesting that we all build our homes into hills or grass our roofs, but think creatively about what we need and how we can go about getting it. It may be as simple as thinking about where the sun rises and sets against the building or how best to utilise natural breezes to cool a house.

Now days its all about the environment. How do we become more environmentally friendly? Are there new ways this can be done? Are there cheaper alternatives to options already on the market?

My biggest issue is space. Land today is markedly smaller than in times past. How do we have a home with enough space for entertaining and a backyard for our precious pooch? How can we fit in enough rooms and bedrooms for future family plans? How do we fit in all our stuff without cluttering the place? I am not suggesting throwing out your childhood tropheys or reserving a special box in the garage for your things. Where can we put all our stuff?

Let me channel my smarty pants inner architect and interior decorator and think up, up and away!

singing in the rain

Picture courtesy of Picture Show Man

Although we don't often give ourselves the opportunity, the feel of rain on your skin is so relaxing and primal. Imagine being able to bring that feeling inside your own home?

Its not mandatory, but water saving shower heads are becoming increasingly popular in this time of drought. Rightly so they are also becoming more chic. Reece has brought out the Halo shower head in response to this demand. Its stunning to look at, winning the Home Beautiful Product of the Year Award 2009. It uses only 7.5 Litres per minute (conventional showers used approx. 10 Litres per minute) and feels like rain.

For a different take on the conventional shower head and for a more modern look, the Italian industrial designer Giulio Lacchetti has designed the DROP shower. Made from durable silicon, it is available in various colours, does not clog up with lime deposits and is completely recyclable. Water falls from it like rain and it runs at 7.5 Litres per minute. Being so resistant to heat, oxygen and sunlight it could easily be used outside without causing any damage.

Outside shower anyone?

Monday, January 18, 2010

let there be light!

I was checking out Jamie Durie's Patio range for Target when I came across garden lighting options. Thinking about it, I realised how much lighting is often overlooked.

When I was looking through the Metricon range of homes, they stood out because of the mood lighting. Thats what grabbed me. They looked warm and inviting. Why can't we make our own homes warm and inviting?

Garden lighting feels like a bit of a luxury and quite a bit of work to set it up, but the Jamie Durie range is solar powered so you push them into the ground, charge them up and away they go! Also the prices are really reasonable - under $30 for certain sets and items.

A directional spotlight could be shone up a tree, at the house or into a dark position in an entertainment area.

Stone finish bollard lights could fit between stones in your garden so they don't stand out too much. Stones would throw the light and shadow in different directions, which would make it interesting.

These floating lights (yes, floating!) are safe in water and could be used in a pool, fountain - anything you like! I love the look of candles floating in water. These would be safer and you wouldn't have to blow them out!

I am not sure what Jamie Durie's lights look like at night. The picture below is just to inspire.

Picture taken by Richard Webb 2007 from website

bathrooms by real people

I found the most fabulous pics from a competition Reece ran - for the best bathrooms from REAL people! Its easy to imagine how all these products can transform your bathroom, but to see it...priceless!

I love them all so I will have to blog them in sections. I'll start with the competition winner. Swoon over this...

1st place 2009

Tell me, is anyone else concerned that the neighbour's house pokes up over the fence, and the bedrooms look upon the bathroom? The bathroom is beautiful, but getting out of the bath may prove to be a struggle - on you and on other people's eyes!

2nd place winner

A winner


This bathroom didn't immediately grab me, but on closer inspection, this is great use of a small room. I mentioned before how I am not a fan of the average shower - the glass tomb. I love the look of glass, but I hate cleaning it (who does?) I've seen something like this before - instead on installing a shower, a wall is built to surround the shower and is long enough so it doesn't spray out. The owner has cleverly used this wall to seperate the bathroom in two - the shower is to the right and the toilet is to the left. The wall itself has been used to mount the sink and mirror. Great use of space!

Also, the toilet with the hidden cistern. I keep seeing it over and over again. It looks so sleek. I'll need to find out how it works!

Although I dream of a large bathroom - its not going to happen within our current budget, so ideas like these make me sigh with relief - I can have a small bathroom that still looks amazing!


What courage with pattern and colour! The long window above the bath is the perfect height to let some light into the room. I would imagine you could do that anywhere - on an external wall or internal long as the glass was frosted - no onlookers please!

1st place 2007

Glass splashbacks are interesting although they would have to be costantly wiped down. Lots of storage space is excellent! I think people don't think enough about storage. Sure, you may not have that much to store now, but the longer you live in one place, the more it adds up! I would rather hide things away than have shampoo and conditioner bottles, medicine, skin care and toothbrushes laying about. Everything looks so clean.

1st place 2006

 Love love the contrast between dark brown and cream/white. Not much storage in here, but they used timber so they are fogiven!! I love long window that runs along the side of the bath! It is a great idea to let light in and give you something to look at while soaking in the bath. I love that its low enough so the neighbours cannot spy on you. What a great idea! Until now, I envisioned windows as being only higher up on the wall. This is a great idea for the modern house as houses are so close together, windows just look in on each other. Would also motivate you to keep the side of the house tidy!


I am not usually attracted to small tiles, but these are growing on me. I love how they have used the wall to put the shower behind, although the room is quite large so I think it has more of a feel of a football bathroom/changeroom. The more I look at the pics, the more I feel I am about to get towel-whipped! Love the painted wall around the toilet. Who says you have to tile the whole bathroom?! This may also be a good way to save money, or to help fund a more expensive element of the bathroom - cut out on tiles that aren't necessary?